Parking fees at Shrewsbury and Telford hospitals generate £4m in three years

Visitors and staff have paid more than £4 million to park at the county’s main hospitals in the past three years, it has been revealed.

hospitals
Princess Royal Hospital, Telford, left, and Royal Shrewsbury Hospital

Parking fees at Royal Shrewsbury Hospital and Princess Royal Hospital Telford have amounted to £4.3 million between 2013/14, and 2015/16.

Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust says the money raised through parking fees is reinvested in the hospital, with £1 million enough to pay for about 30 nurses for a year.

Figures revealed in a Freedom of Information request show that in 2013/14 members of the public paid £977,567 to park at the hospitals, while staff paid £311,738.

In 2014/15 the public paid £1,057,320 and staff £427,436, with the corresponding figures for 2015/16 being £1,029,292 and £496,448.

Earlier this year the trust said its parking charges were among the lowest in the country.

It also stressed that discount parking is available for some patients, and the first 30 minutes of parking is also free.

And people receiving certain treatment or on a visit linked to a bereavement could also park free.

The number of parking tickets issued at the hospitals has risen sharply in the last year, with the figure more than doubling.

In 2013/14 there were 90 tickets issued, in 2014/15 that number fell to 70, before leaping to 198 in 2015/16.

Last year hospitals in England collected more than £120m from charging patients, staff and visitors for parking. The figure was a five per cent rise on the year before.

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Comments for: "Parking fees at Shrewsbury and Telford hospitals generate £4m in three years"

johnfrederick

It will help pay for what Future Fit as cost so far ?

Roger

"Figures revealed in a Freedom of Information request show that in 2013/14 members of the public paid £977,567 to park at the hospitals, while staff paid £311,738.In 2014/15 the public paid £1,057,320 and staff £427,436, with the corresponding figures for 2015/16 being £1,029,292 and £496,448".

The interesting figures are not the public's payments but the Staff payments. In a period when the staff has been reducing and there has been a virtual pay freeze they have increased their parking charges by 50% in three years.

Personally I think it's dreadful that an employer should charge an employee for going to work. Being out of town there is no alternative car parking and in many cases of shift work no public transport. At the level of charges imposed taxi sharing could be cheaper. Worse still is that availability of parking is so limited they could pay and not park.

The second issue is not what we pay but how much of what we pay goes into hospital funds after the parking enforcement contractor has taken their share. They may take £4 million but that does not mean they make £4 million?

The third consideration is if they can make so much on parking and there is not enough parking to go round why not expand the business by building more parking spaces. The public would support that because parking at the hospital is a pain of searching the site for a space making people late for appointments or to visit a friend or relative. It costs more in petrol to find a space than to pay for the parking.

Fourth the Hospital is a bad neighbour because it's lack of parking spaces is causing overflow onto the streets on nearby estates making it difficult for residents to park blocking drives and making it difficult for emergency vehicles to get to patients on these estates. They used to have an overflow car park on Copthorne South but they built houses on that. There is no excuse because there is plenty of space on the Shrewsbury site to put additional parking or even a multistory. They charge more than multistory in Town.

Fifth Why not do a deal with the Park and Ride operation to use the park and rides as overflow parking with direct buses to the hospital and all day travel to allow visitors to use town between visiting hours. The Oxen P&R buses used to call at the hospital but no longer do. The only bus to the Hospital is the No one regular service which cost more because they are regular tickets not P&R tickets. I am certain that by extending park and ride operation to more days of the week and more hours of the day all staff and visitor travel could be met with access to the Town Centre for shopping at no extra charge. The point of Park and Ride is to take traffic out of town and trips to hospital must be a significant part of that congestion.

Sixth. It would help with parking at both hospitals and reduce the cost of parking if NHS staff would be punctual in keeping their appointments with patients. Getting cars to churn faster through the car parks would make better use of the spaces and increase the cash yield. Waiting 4 hours in A&E is a massive parking charge essentially down to the NHS not staffing it properly. The car parks would probably be a better fit for numbers using them if the drivers did not spend so very long sitting in waiting rooms. The current levels of waiting are an irresponsible use of the public's time and incredibly expensive to the economy. The NHS has to pull it's weight to help the economy as much as anyone. A whole day wasted on a single ten minute hospital appointment with travelling expenses and escorts etc is very extreme waste of resources.

Finally, as the STP progresses the Trust Board seem determined to increase the number of journeys between Shrewsbury and Telford they should be facilitating the extra journeys. This can be achieved by extending park and ride services from both Shrewsbury and Telford on to the other hospital. providing direct service from the nearest park and ride to either hospital with no time wasted changing buses or trains. This would reduce the cost and time wasted attending either hospital as staff, patients, carers and visitors but the buses must run more hours seven days a week. It would free up spaces at both hospitals for the emergencies, disabled and make the hospital a good neighbour. Existing public transport makes the STP a highly inefficient and expensive on cost to everybody except the hospitals by forcing people to go to where ever it is convenient for the NHS but not the public. The STP is certainly not a green project. We need to sort out a travel scheme to off set the disadvantages of the STP and reduce road congestion on the A5 in particular but roads in general which greens the STP. Without a doubt all this extra travelling for the STP will increase pollution which is bad for everybody's health so we need to control it through improved public transport. Every park and ride should be a portal to the hospitals. One cheap ticket to ride all day from the first nurse shift change to last visitors return journey. It would cut into their £1.5 million a year in parking charges but what is more important is the cost to travel for staff, patients and visitors. The NHS core business is heath not car parking so a reduced pollution transport system should be a priority for the NHS. Reduced congestion should be a priority for the councils and reduced cost is a priority for everybody. An assured network of transport is a prerequisite to the STP sending all people to a vast diversity of gateways to the NHS. Particularly if they place centralised services in distributed health centres like the fertility clinic going to Severn Fields Health Village. From a transport and parking point of view the STP is a "car crash" of a proposal but Amelioration is possible.

MrW

Roger agree with your points, however, with regard to the 'sixth' the only way that can happen is if the service is privatised, which is already beginning!

jonjo

As Roger points out, how much do the hospitals receive out of the quoted figure and how much do the car parking company make out of it. My guess is a very small percentage for the hospitals.

DavidB

I agree with Roger and jonjo. The figures should be made transparent - like who has received how much. This should give an indication of just how much the "external consultants" are ripping out of the system.

MrW

Absolute disgrace to effectively 'tax' those that are sick, it would be a little more acceptable if the money was used to help the actual hospital and not the car parking company.

Staff should have a dedicated car park where they pay nothing, and a visitor only car park with a maximum charge of £2 for over 2 hours, £1 for under 2 hours and disabled blue badge holders park for free.

ken1

I wouldn't mind if all the money goes to the hospital, but it doesn't i believe almost half goes to some parking company (i won't say what i really think). I will not pay if i can avoid it.i will park somewhere else and walk or ask a work colleague to drop me off. I realise many people can't do this so these greedy people win every time.

As for staff having to pay is totally wrong and a disparity in pay with others who are fortunate enough not to have to use a car to get to work.

Hospitals need to stop wasting money .

PJS

It would be interesting to know how much the money made is offset by the cost of patients arriving late for appointments because they cannot find a space. The car parks at both hospitals are inadequate and poorly maintained - if so much is being made, why is so little apparently spent on maintenance?

Tell it like it is

Why don't they increase the parking fee to £100 a visit then we could have a much better free national health service. If the staff had to pay as well then most of them would be working for nothing and that would save the nhs a fortune.

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